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Obama Urges G20 Leaders to Continue Economic Stimulus


U.S. President Barack Obama is urging leaders of the world's top economies to strengthen recovery efforts.

Mr. Obama's comments on the global economy came in a letter to heads of the Group of 20 nations, or G20, who gather for a summit in Canada next week.

At the height of the economic crisis, the United States and many other nations spent billions of dollars on public works to bolster economic growth.

But now many European nations are sharply cutting spending to cope with budget deficits.

Mr. Obama says such budget cutting is a good idea, but in the "medium term" rather than right now.

The president also urged nations to let markets, not government edicts, determine the value of their currencies.

He did not mention China specifically, but members of the U.S. Congress have long accused Beijing of intervening in foreign currency markets to push down the value of the Chinese currency.

Economists say a cheaper currency gives Chinese-made goods a price advantage on world markets, and contributes to the huge trade deficit the United States has with China.

Chinese officials have rejected calls to change its currency policies, and say it is not an appropriate topic for the G20 summit.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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